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Mrs. Ann Marie Davis donates breadfruit plants, declares the tree’s health and economic benefits



Bahamas Information Services
#FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – In keeping with the country’s 50th anniversary celebration, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, wife of the Prime Minister, on Friday, May 12 donated 50 breadfruit trees to Old Freetown Farm.
The farm was devastated during Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 when they lost one employee and hundreds of animals. Owner Sissel Johnson said two breadfruit trees survived the storm but were destroyed during the cleanup.
While addressing some of the attendees of Forum for Impact (FFI) Americas platform that was opened on Wednesday at Pelican Bay, Mrs. Davis said the planting of breadfruit trees has profound impact on our environment, society, and our economy.
Listing the benefits, she said the planting of these trees in tropical countries like Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Dominica, Hawaii, Haiti and now Grand Bahama have environmental benefits. They are, Mrs. Davis continued, strong and resilient and can withstand strong hurricane winds, reduce soil erosion, and promote water conservation.
Mentioning health benefits, Mrs. Davis said, “The tree has been named the choice ‘Tree That Feeds’ by the Tree That Feeds Foundation. The fruit is gluten free, rich in nutrients, just about 100 grams of breadfruit, approximately half a cup, provides 25 percent of the required daily allowance for fiber.”  And she went on to list the other healthy advantages of breadfruit.
Describing it as “a nutritious goldmine” Mrs. Davis added that the use of breadfruit will be one of the shifts seen in the future.
Regular consumption of boiled breadfruit leaves lowers blood sugar levels, treats kidney damage, and lowers uric acid. Another benefit, the Prime Minister’s wife continued, is curing hepatitis, dental pain, and rashes.
Most importantly, she said, is looking at the need for food and food security. With the expansion of the economy of Grand Bahama and more visitors coming to the island, there will be more people to feed.
While these trees do not get as much attention as other major crops, they do supply an abundance of fruit with each tree yielding between 100 and 200 fruit annually for 50 years or more. It also provides a variety of foods for local and international communities.
“One tree can sustain a family of four for a decade or more,” said Mrs. Davis.“Recent studies have shown that shift in climates will have little effect on breadfruit cultivation.”
She added, “Many countries combat food insecurity by importing foods like wheat or rice and that comes with a high environmental cost and high carbon footprint. With breadfruit however, these communities can produce food grown locally with a lower carbon footprint and lower environmental cost.”
As the breadfruit tree attracts certain wildlife, continued Mrs. Davis, this will help maintain a natural ecosystem and beautify the area, particularly in Grand Bahama.
“The economic benefits of planting breadfruit trees are wide and they create job opportunities, stimulate local economy through the production of breadfruit-based products, promoting agro-tourism in the region and making vodka,” she said.
Header: Fifty breadfruit plants were donated to the owners of Old Freetown Farm, George and Sissel Johnson, on Friday, May 12 when wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis was on island. Shown from left are Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Davis and Melvin Seymour, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Grand Bahama. 1st insert: With breadfruit being a key to food sustainability, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis donated 50 plants to Old Freetown Farm in Freeport on Friday, May 12. Mrs. Davis is shown planting one of the breadfruit plants assisted by George Johnson, one of the owners.
2nd insert: Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, wife of the Prime Minister, has embarked upon a ‘Trees That Feed’ campaign promoting breadfruit and all its benefits from food to business. While in Freeport on Friday, May 12, Mrs. Davis donated 50 plants to Old Freedom Farm, a farm destroyed during Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Bahamas News

Universal Healthcare Coverage Cited as a Big-Ticket Item at 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva



#TheBahamas, May 23, 2023 – Health & Wellness Minister the Honourable Dr. Michael R. Darville, in a pre-assembly interview, has forecast that Non-Communicable Diseases, Universal Healthcare Coverage, areas associated with the pandemic and Anti-microbial Resistance are some of the hot-ticket items on this year’s agenda at the 76th World Health Assembly. Minister Darville who is heading a delegation from The Bahamas comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Health & Wellness, the Public Hospitals Authority and the National Health Insurance Authority cited universal healthcare coverage as a major pillar of the Geneva discussions as the intention is to put it in place globally by the year 2030. He said the government equates the provision of healthcare services with equity across the Bahamas as a priority. This he said will become even more evident when the Parliament moves on new legislation to repeal the old National Health Insurance Act.

The Opening session of the 76th World Health Assembly takes place on Sunday May 21st in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s Assembly is being held under the theme Saving lives, driving health for all, and it comes as the WHO celebrates its 75th anniversary.

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.


Press Release: Ministry of Health & Wellness

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Bahamas News

DPM says Grand Bahama “is on the move”






#TheBahamas, May 23, 2023 – Grand Bahama “is on the move” said Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Chester Cooper when asked about the Grand Lucayan prior to the Cabinet Meeting held in Freeport on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

The Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation said, “We have taken the position that we want to validate proof of funding and we are in the process of going through that at the moment. The government knows how important the property is to Grand Bahama and its economy, as well as to the nation, and they are working diligently and when they get to a point, an announcement will be made.”

Questioned on the status of the Grand Bahama International Airport, the Deputy Prime Minister said they are about to begin demolition. “There are very complex agreements that are currently being prepared. The lawyers are working diligently.”

With a foreign lender, a foreign airport manager and a consortium of five entities that make up the local partners, there are a number of agreements being made. Consultants are currently working on the ground, and the Deputy Prime Minister said he will meet with them next Tuesday to view the designs.

“The reality is that the work has continued since we entered the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) in March. The process is we entered the MOU, we are now completing the full set of legal agreements and designs. We’re going to begin the demolition work shortly. Renovation of the Air Traffic Control Tower is going to begin first and then we’ll go into full scale construction.”

The 2025 deadline for the completion of the airport, is still in place with all parties committed.

Deputy Prime Minister Cooper then turned his attention to airlift to the island stating that they have been “very deliberate and very focused” having engaged Bahamasair for flights from Raleigh, North Carolina; and Sunwing. It is hoped that these flights can become year-round.

With Sunwing recently acquired by WestJet, he said, “this is going to be an overall positive for The Bahamas and Grand Bahama. WestJet has always been a good partner with direct services from Toronto and Montreal, as well as Calgary.” They are currently working to get more airlift to Grand Bahama.

Other airlines include Frontier, Silver and Bahamasair for the possibility of additional routes. For more airlift, he said, they are also speaking with Air Canada which flies from Charlotte and Miami.

“The challenge on the island at the moment is the number of hotel rooms and we’re hoping we can get Breakers Cay open in a short period of time to support the airlift.

“Suffice to say, all of our airline partners are standing by and they are ready to support the island of Grand Bahama. The product is strong, our overall numbers is just 96 percent of 2019, only four percent behind 2019 let’s put it that way; our cruise numbers are up 188 percent compared to 2019.

“So, Grand Bahama is on the move. There’s excitement about the product. People now realize there is a significant level of things to do in East End and West End, and of course in Freeport, and this is attracting a significant level of interest from stakeholders and, potentially, new partners,” he said.

Additionally, the government will make a statement on the $300 million development in West Grand Bahama and it is expected that more information will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

When asked about commercial banks going into the Family Islands that currently have no banks, the Deputy Prime Minister said the issue has been a concern of the government for some time. As the large Canadian banks have been withdrawing from the islands, the money transfer agencies have been engaged to work with existing banks to provide the service.

“I anticipate the bank involved is going to make an announcement soon in relation to Exuma and Long Island mission; and we hope that as a result of the successful implementation of these plans in Exuma and Long Island, that other islands will benefit in due course,” he said.


Photo Captions:

Header – The Cabinet of The Bahamas met in Grand Bahama on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.   Following the meeting, Ministers attended the groundbreaking and contract signing ceremony of the PHA/Grand Bahama Health Services Freeport Health Campus. Shown in the conference room of the Ministry for Grand Bahama, where the meeting was held are Nicole Campbell, Secretary to the Cabinet, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Aviation and Investments, the Hon. Chester Cooper. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)
Insert – Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, is seen responding to questions from the media prior to the Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.   The meeting was held in Grand Bahama at the Ministry for Grand Bahama. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Bahamas News

BAIC Facilitates First-Ever Perfume-Making Workshop






#NASSAU, The Bahamas, May 23, 2023 –  The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), has made a significant step in its quest to expand and innovate the industrial sector and offer Bahamians another avenue for entrepreneurship.

On Wednesday, 18th May, the corporation took a leap into the unknown but exciting world of perfume-making when a workshop was facilitated at their headquarters on Old Trail Road.

The one-day workshop brought together artisans and craftspersons from the world of essential oil production, candle-making, aromatherapy and other crafts. Bringing his expertise to The Bahamas, world-renowned perfume maker and skincare specialist, Edwin Bruce, facilitated the event.  Executive Chairman of BAIC, Leroy Major, called the workshop a ‘groundbreaking’ event for the country.

“The perfume industry is a $38.2 billion one that The Bahamas has not tapped into and so after doing some research and finding out that castor oil, which is produced locally, is a component of perfume, we decided to try our hand at perfume making,” he said.

“We invited Mr. Bruce, out of Jamaica, to assist us as he is well-versed in this area. We plan to also facilitate workshops in some of the other islands shortly.”

Mr. Bruce said he was elated to share his knowledge with the Bahamian people given his affection for the country.

During the three-hour event, participants learned about the various layers of scent, the use of raw materials for scents, how to blend scents, the philosophy and olfactory psychology and also the language behind scents.  At the end of the workshop, participants were able to compose and bottle their own personalized fragrances.



(BIS Photos/Betty Vedrine)

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